Sunday, 2 May 2010


Not since Roy Hattersley was "empty chaired" by the "Have I got news for You" TV show and replaced with a tub of lard has the  Labour Party managed such an embarrassing no show as was witnessed on Friday in Northampton when Clyde "I am up for the fight" Loakes failed to show up for two hustings meetings in the same day. In fact of all the hustings that took place in the campaign he managed to attend only one, which was held on one of the "Tuesdays" (he had previously sent a  letter to local Labour campaigners informing them that he would only be in town once a week during the election) which he kindly donated to the campaign. But to miss what was Northampton's "Super Friday" of the campaign was completely unforgivable.

First of all he missed the opportunity to share a 40 minute live on air question time on local BBC radio Northampton at lunchtime, leaving the Tory and Lib Dem candidates hogging the microphone for themselves (some of us lesser mortals in the eyes of the BBC only got to participate in the last 20 minutes of the programme and some only got a pre recorded message!) I tried unsuccesfully to point out to the BBC that I was running in second place in the overall campaign and would gladly fill the empty chair, but the BBC's finest in a higher place had deemed this not the way the BBC does things!!

Then later in the evening he was more visibly "empty chaired" at the local newspaper the 'Chronicle and Echo's BIG DEBATE' when the 100+ audience looked on aghast as the chair and assistant editor Richard Edmondson read out a one line email from the hapless Loakes which simply said "I will not be able to attend the debate"

What in the name of Nye Bevan is going on in the Labour Party!!! After my expulsion they promised members that they would revitalise the local party, and their show piece candidate was to bring "drive and enthusiasm" to local campaigning!

It was an own goal of massive proportions, in fact it was a hatrick of own goals if you add the two no shows on Friday to his earlier "paper candidate" gaffe when he told the press he was only in the contest for the experience.  What experience he has got from only visiting the contest one day a week for a few hours, and missing key debates is anyone guess, but if the Labour Party had any decency it would apologise to the electorate now and take action against the candidate.

When I entered this contest as an Independent I always expected to sway a number of Labour voters to my cause, but Clyde has done more than I could ever have done to boost those numbers, it was clear to me today on the streets of Far Cotton that even Labour's faithful have now given up on their man.

And what a good debate he missed, I admit I had a bit of the devil in me on Friday night and felt sparky throughout the event, but I was humbled by the Chrons verdict on Saturday which said

"The night's biggest winner with the audience was undoubtedly Tony Clarke - the former Labour diehard turned Independent campaigner. Clarke has set out his campaign on the premise of representing the people of Northampton rather than a political party's chief whip. He is a local man who says he knows what local people want and you instinctively believe him when he says he will try to do his best for the town"

The newspaper carried out a snap poll at the end of the night and  was pleased again that the majority of the audience thought I had "performed the best overall" and with the comments given to the Chron from those attending

"Tony Clarke was the only one who didn't say anything negative about the other candidates" Dee Mamera, New Duston

"It's opened my eyes and I'll probably look at somebody else now, like the Independents to see what they can do for Northampton. I liked Tony Clarke. I didn't know anything about him before, but from his performance, I would say he was the best." Simon Glassman St James

But what did they think to Clyde's no show? I guess we will only truly know on Thursday, but if any Labour voters out there want to know where they should now place their vote on polling day to prevent a Tory winning the seat, then I hope they will consider supporting my campaign for Parliament.

For a start I promise I will turn up!



  1. Could I just say that Tony is running a good campaign – the leaflet in the previous blog came though my letter box tonight (6:15pm) but even with all of this going on as still found the time to take on new case work in his ward, if the other guy can’t even turn up for the Chron debate he really don’t warrant anyone’s vote


  2. Waltham Forester2 May 2010 at 21:10

    Really, really wishing you all the best up there. You are running a superb campaign and deserve to win.

  3. Mete the Punk3 May 2010 at 18:44

    Tony - I am backing you my friend to win on Thursday my friend but we need to stop these 'back slapping' blogs above. If they had been written about other candidates by their supporters we would be the first to criticise.

    How the WF guy above knows we are running a good campaign from down there (unless he reads this blog every day - if so why?)kind of gives it all away.

  4. Come on Tony - don't let the pro regional office supporters get you down with a few days to go. We have momentum on our side.

    Good blogs Waltham Forester and Northampton. Keep it up and lets get the others to blog on here too; the more the better.

  5. Northampton Newcomer3 May 2010 at 18:52

    First time voter in Northampton South Tony Clarke.

    While your USP is encouraging, your most recent article made me write in.

    Your promise of 'new' politics reads well in earlier blogs but this one starts to read a bit like election week hype.

    A blog saying how bad the Labour candidate is, followed by how well your campaign is going (with the obligatory supporting comments from the local paper and your supporters) then criticising Labour again is hardly the stuff of moral high ground is it.

    Come on - with under a week to go lets get back to the real issues and not the personal attacks we see on the TV every night.


  6. Regional Reporter3 May 2010 at 18:58

    Tony - wanted to challenge you on the 'honest man' tag you wear. Remember the world (wide web) is watching.

    1) Can you confirm when you became the Labour MP for Northampton South in 1997 the party membership for the CLP was approx 250?

    2) Can you then further confirm that when you lost the seat in 2005, the party membership of the CLP, under your leadership had fallen to approx 112?


  7. Northampton newcomer, sorry if you think it is negative, I don't like negative politics but its a big story, notional Labour seat and the candidate comes up once a week and misses the main hustings? You can't not report that.

    Regional Reporter, before I was elected in 1997 I chaired the constituency and the membership rose above 1500 for Northampton South. I understand that when Clyde was selected the membership had fallen to around the 220 mark. Of course many of us were expelled but the majority just didn't renew because of the lies and rule breaking from the regional office. All the party's are the same though, a leaked report to me from Northasmpton South Conservatives show them around the 275 mark and the Lib Dems only operate across the whole of Northampton with a membership of around 400 to 500

    Hope this helps, and I am only too happy to oblige.

    Meet the Punk, I take it you are not a good friend of my soulmate Pete the Monk? but please stop posting false posts. I hate to remove posts, have only done so once, but I am only interested in real debate not made up discussions

  8. Meet the Punk3 May 2010 at 21:55

    Tony - you have a soulmate called 'Pete the Monk'? Seriously?

    I am dissapointed that because you don't agree with my posts you feel they are 'false'!

    If they are removed aren't we in the realms of the politician that preaches honesty and openess not giving others that opportunity?

    Some of the blogs above are hardly 'real debate' - they are back slapping supporters of yours.

    Please pratice what you preach.


  9. Northampton Newcomer3 May 2010 at 22:00

    To be honest I don't look towards my prospective MP to 'report' on the news that he is part off?

    Isn't that a bit like David Cameron giving us his 'honest and open' view on the TV debates?

    Let's keep having your policies in the neext few days-leave the reporting to the Chron and Look East.


  10. The Labour party have the same problem in Wellingborough

  11. MtP as if you didn't know!!

    NN, happy to, ask away

  12. Mete the Punk 13 14

    Western View 13 17

    Northampton Newcomer 13 22

    Regional reporter 13 25

    Kind of gives the childrens game away don't you think?

    Tony - as I said previously, when they have to resort to infantile games on your blog and are fearful of opening comment facilities on their own, you know they are thoroughly rattled!

    Roll on Thursday and Northampton South will rid itself of the Clegg factor.

    Cup of Rosie on the lawn tomorrow eh!

  13. When you see people removing their names from the 'followers' list on Twitterwaffle, it lights up your heart to see that other people can see through the BS.

  14. Twitterwaffle:-

    "Vote Varnsverry Lib Dem, get Varnsverry Lib Dem......" ????

    More like --- (Vote 1 Varnsverry, get another 1 free)

    Just like the supermarkets - you've got to read the small print to see where the catch is! And boy, is that a catch!!!!!!!!

    Vote for honesty this Thursday the 6th - Vote Tony Clarke.

  15. Do you wanna wear my shirt on Thursday Tony?

  16. Why can't Teddy McNabb wear his on Thursday?

  17. Vote Varnsverry Lib Dem and you still have the bund in Delapre.

    When you voted him on to the NBC he also promised honesty and reform.

    And now look at the Town 3 years in to a LIB DEM administration. We have never had so many problems.

    Parking for a red Astra that cost the Town thousands.

    No Balloon Festival

    Public Toilet issues

    Plastic Christmas Trees

    Councillor PAY RISES

    £7.2 million black hole

    Fire Works CANCELLED

    Neighbourhood Wardens REDUCED

    Sixfields NO SUPPORT

    Saints NO SUPPORT

    Market Square RUINED

    These are only some of the disadvantages of anything LIB DEM and that's only at local level. Can you imagine what they would do Nationally? It doesn't bear thinking about.

  18. On May 6th in Northampton South:

    if you want DECENCY not deception - Please Vote Tony Clarke.

    If you want FACT not fiction - Please vote Tony Clarke.

    If you want TRUTH not fantasy - Please vote Tony Clarke.

    If you don't want an ineffectual dreamer - Please vote Tony Clarke.

    I will be Voting for Tony Clarke, the next Independent MP for Northampton South.

  19. We are better off with a credible Independent in parliament representing our town, Whatever your political persuasion may be.

    If the overall election result turns out as close as is reckoned, the Independents & small parties will make it very interesting for whoever is in government as they WILL have leverage like rarely before.

    We can do all this safe in the knowledge that if we elect Tony Clarke & he doesn't work hard for the town as he promises, he will part with his seat next election, that's the beauty of democracy.

    Think outside the Party box that's been drilled into us, Vote Tony Clarke tomorrow.

  20. By all means let Teddy wear his shirt Northampton... (is that you Norman? I'd like to use your name if so)

    I shall wear the shirt I flashed (pardon the expression) at Tony, last Friday; tomorrow!

  21. St John Lady - Don’t wish to go of the tread on this BUT
    IF Teddy was to wear his, NBC will deem it as a breach of the injunction?

    Last year we were filmed for BBC Current Affairs - a Panorama programme discussing the issues surrounding sheltered housing in the UK. More specifically, the way the warden system has changed since funding regulations were altered in 2003 - we also wrote about the solicitor Yvonne Hossack supporting the tenants’ and how local authority’s attempted to have her taken of the register ….on that occasion the national press noted that Ms Hossack’s supporters had shirts with “we love our solicitor” and “beat the bully” the council have now written to one of the supporters “ We are aware that in the past that you have worn clothing, with the term “bully” written on your shirt or top. Any such clothing worn by you, we will deem this as a breach of the injunction.”

    Norman Adams

  22. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support guys, now lets let the electorate decide!

    After a bit more work tomorrow of course!


  23. Thanks Norman; and to be honest, I have no idea if that'll be part of the breach...

    Man isn't this all a little bit silly?
    I thought some of those Teddy has "harassed" had a pair!

    My God that's taking "freedom of speech" to a new level isn't it? I am not too sure I should wear my "Vote Tony Clarke... I Did" shirt now... can I turn up naked and see how it goes? (kidding!)

    It does all leave me scratching my head a little bit... still; I am sure there will be a good "blog" in this after the election!

    (I think I am starting to like being a trouble maker!)

    And Tony; kick some political butt please, thank you kindly! Maybe I shall see you tomorrow ~ doubt it ~ but if not, at the footy?




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